UPDATE: Greenwich Schools Superintendent Sends Another Letter to Parkway School Families on Drinking Water

parkwayUPDATE, June 29, 2016 5:00pm: Dr. McKersie, on his last day in the district, sent the following letter to Parkway School parents and staff about testing the drinking water at the school for lead.

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A Parkway School parent shared a letter sent from Greenwich Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill McKersie to parents and staff.

The letter, dated June 17,(**see below) indicates that elevated levels of lead were found in the water at the school. “Our kids deserve better!” the parent wrote in her email to GFP, adding that Parkway is the only school in Greenwich with well water, and suggesting the district pay for bottled water.

The drinking water samples were taken on June 9th, but the letter to parents and staff wasn’t sent until Friday, June 17. The last day of school was Tuesday, June 21.

The superintendent said in his letter that the “exceedances” for lead were found in two locations out of 20 tested, and that elevated lead was found in hand-washing utility sinks in a Pre K class and an ALP classroom.

“The water has been shut off at these two locations,” McKersie said, adding that after exceedances were found last fall, water tests were conducted weekly for two months, and then resumed a standard quarterly test schedule with the most recent test prior to June being conducted back on March 24, 2016.

“No exceedances have been identified since October 2015, until the tests conducted this week,” he wrote. He said the readings were 0.05 and 051 milligrams per liter. The acceptable limit is 0.015 milligrams per liter.

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McKersie said that last fall the District installed lead eliminating filters and bottle filling stations in the Parkway School’s cafeteria and main hallway.

The superintendent said that although the school’s well is in compliance with all State and Federal regulations and that the water will continue to be monitored, this summer a filtered drinking fountain will be installed in each of the remaining three wings of the school. Also lead eliminating filters will be installed at every classroom sink.  Anyone with questions was asked to call Facilities at (203) 625-7450.

McKersie,whose contract with Greenwich Schools expires this Thursday, June 30, attached a document from the State of Connecticut (See Below)

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See also:

Parkway School Principal: Erroneous reporting on lead levels misled Greenwich families

Aeroponic Harvest Time at Parkway School: Tower to Table in Ten Feet or Less

Patty Allen Resigns as Principal of Parkway School


Email news tips to Greenwich Free Press editor Leslie.Yager@GreenwichFreePress.com
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  • McKersie’s letter bungles the decimal point, once again, in this serious matter.

    The Federal EPA standard is 15 parts per billion max.

    The Parkway School tests showed students and faculty drinking 50 and 510 parts per billion respectively.

    The problem is in the plumbing – which is the Latin word for lead.

    See- this is easy to understand. But can we trust the BOE on this?

  • Nancy H.

    Not again. No wonder McKersie fled.

  • Nancy H.

    Time for Matten to be fired.

  • The well water at Parkway is not the problem, although if the pH goes too low, the acidity will leech extra metals from the plumbing. The lead problem comes from lead solder joints and brass mixes in the fixtures that allow a lead buildup in standing water.

    By running the pumps and flushing the system, the lead readings go way down temporarily, but the lead is still in the system. Filters are a short-term fix.

    The long-term solution is to replace the fittings and fixtures which cause the problem. This is a form of maintenance, but in Greenwich we call this a capital budget expense, and have a strange approach to letting facilities fall apart or go bad – and only then do we respond to the crisis with interim emergency appropriations.

  • Hariet T.

    For crying out loud, Greenwich Public Schools must get a grip on its environmental issues and dangers and stop stifling parents’ concerns.